Real Estate and the Art of Conversation: Part I
Life as a real estate agent would be great if you didn’t have to prospect.
Well, the reality is, you DO need to prospect if you want to earn the kind of money you’ve always dreamed about. That’s why top performers in our industry are defined by a single-minded commitment to daily prospecting. Some are naturals at prospecting. But the vast majority have to work on their prospecting skills, day-in and day-out.
As we said in our recent series on MASTERING THE PREVIEW, your primary goal in prospecting is to GET IN THE DOOR! There’s nothing like face-to-face contact to build rapport and a business relationship. But “getting in the door” means that you need to be able to engage the homeowner over the phone in order to build that initial layer of trust.
In today’s post, we’re going to begin a deep dive on the importance of great conversation skills in building rapport and trust with prospects over the phone.
A DIFFERENT PERSON
You can’t FEAR PROSPECTING!
When you’re fearful or nervous or anxious on a call, the person on the other end will feel your nervousness and fear. As such, they will find it difficult to have confidence in your abilities.
The more you become comfortable with your conversation skills, the more fear and anxiety will dissipate, thus putting you in a more powerful position on the call. To be a great conversationalist, you need to be:
- Captivating… to get their attention
- Engaging… to involve them in the dialogue (it’s not a monologue)
- Charming… to earn their trust
You need to rid yourself of negative self-talk with regard to your conversation abilities (“I’m too shy,” “I’m not very gregarious,” “It’s hard for me to show emotion.”). Such talk brings you down and makes it difficult to do the critical work that needs to be done.
So, the biggest tip we can offer is this: YOU NEED TO BE A DIFFERENT PERSON!
You may be a loving mother or father, or son, or little league coach. But when you put on your headset and open up your new Espresso Agent leads each morning, you need to view yourself as a PROSPECTING POWERHOUSE! You’re an actor playing a role, and that role is a prospector, looking for gold. You’re on a mission and nobody can stop you from your mission. You can be the too-shy, unassuming, gentle-spirit the rest of the day. But when you sit at your computer and crank up your dialer, you take on a new persona… you are on-stage… you are a performer.
Generally speaking, the goal, the purpose, of any conversation is to accomplish one of two things:
- To entertain the other person; to create a pleasurable experience for them, and/or…
- To provide utility, meaning you are going to provide them with something of value.
The more you wrap your head around these qualities of great conversation, and begin putting them to use, the more “power” you will bring to your conversations. And the more you will build rapport and trust with your prospects.
One of the biggest mistakes many real estate agents make before getting on the phone is they DO NOT prepare for the phone call. They do not understand their strategy, or the purpose of the call.
- Is your goal to get a preview appointment?
- Do you want to schedule a listing presentation?
You need to know, in advance, what you want to achieve on the call.
That’s why it’s important to have a pre-conversation routine. Again, as we said above, you are about to make a shift from your daily persona, to the role you are playing as a “prospector.” What do you need to do to transform yourself? Or, maybe put a better way, how do you get yourself psyched up to play that role to perfection? Perhaps you:
- Have a powerful affirmation that has worked in the past?
- Play a song that inspires you?
- Watch an inspiring scene from a movie that you love?
Any of these, or perhaps some other idea, can serve as “triggers” that tell you it’s time to “get your game on.”
In our next post on the Art of Conversation, we’ll look at important patterns that should guide your conversations, as well some of pitfalls you might encounter by not preparing yourself for every call.